Where Can I Find Training Partners/Students?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by wingchun100, Jun 21, 2017.

  1. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    This is a variation on something I have asked before...I think. Even if it isn't, I am sure some people here will have interesting answers for me.

    My Sifu told me he wouldn't object if I taught people Wing Chun (he made sure to include the phrase "up to my level"). I tried looking around for places where I could hold a class, but I didn't really find anywhere that I could afford.

    Then I started thinking about advertising for private lessons. I tried doing this on Craigslist, but I got little to no responses. One guy's response really put me on edge. I told him how we could train at a park either near my house or his. He said meeting in a park made him uncomfortable, and then he kept insisting on doing the lesson at my apartment.

    I live with my girlfriend and her two children. I imagined bad stuff going down. I thought of our good old friend the Craigslist Killer. And so I told this guy, "No thanks."

    So in this situation, if you had no place to use for regularly held classes and you got weird replies like that from Craigslist, where would YOU go to get private students?

    I have that class coming up at Hudson Valley, where I intend to let people know they can continue training with me once it is done, but I would like more options.
     
  2. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Churches and community centers.
     
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  3. gerardbu07059

    gerardbu07059 Yellow Belt

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    Like bill said you can look also in health clubs to provide classes. The only issue is that you may have to change it a little since the students vary and you may want to make it more of a repeatable class since members may take the class at any time. Also when I studied king fu. We practiced in the park (the whole class of around 20)

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
     
  4. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    I can see his point, I'm not sure I'd be happy with a park, if I was paying for private lessons. I'm not sure a Craig's list killer would seek out a martial arts expert as a victim. Cant you do lesson's when your in on your own and keep some chucks handy just in case
     
  5. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    His objection was not because of that. He said something about how he didn't like the idea of "being a black man in a park near sunset." His words!
     
  6. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    well that sounds valid, if being a black man in a park near sunset is unwise
    if its sunset strip you are talking about, I'm not sure being a,white man in a park round there is a good idea? If you mean sun set as a time, that seems valid as well
     
  7. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I wouldn't worry too much about the one guy who didn't want to work in the park. That'd be like someone saying to me that they don't like walking through the gymnasium to get to classes. That's how you get to the classes I teach. If you want to not do that, you'll have to find someplace that doesn't do that. As for wanting you to teach at home, that's entirely your call. If I had a space to teach, I'd be okay teaching at my place, but I don't. If you don't want to do that, again, it's your program. People don't normally ask you to teach at your place - that's actually odd.
     
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  8. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed, depending upon the area. Around me, it would be a non-issue (either way). In some areas, each of those scenarios would be more problematic.
     
  9. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    I live in Stillwater NY. There's, like, 3 cops. He would be in little to no danger of police brutality. lol
     
  10. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    The weird part was that he kept pushing the issue. The first time he asked me, I said I was not comfortable having him come over because I didn't know him and he didn't know me. He said, "Okay, that's cool. I understand."

    Then the next time he emailed me, he said, "Hey bro, we gonna have this lesson at your place?"

    By that point, I stopped responding.
     
  11. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    might be a few red necks though. He is clearly worried about his safety or he wouldn't be taking lessons in the first place
     
  12. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    Can't be too worried. We never met for a single lesson. LOL
     
  13. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Well, you could continue to use venues like Craigslist, and just weed out the undesireables. You might get some responses from good people.
     
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  14. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I know one guy I took private FMA classes from was using a MeetUp to bring folks in. He had very few people who showed up from it, so it's only worth doing if you're going to be there, anyway, or if you require folks register in advance (you can do that with MeetUp).
     
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  15. ShortBridge

    ShortBridge 2nd Black Belt

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    I don't like training in parks, but I do occasionally. Given my choice, I prefer to stay out of the public eye.

    I find it entirely reasonable for a person of color not to want to *appear* to be in a physical conflict in a park. Whether or not you can relate to that, I think he deserves the benefit of the doubt on that point, because his experience is different than mine and (presumably) yours.

    But I also don't teach at my house for a variety of reasons including legal/liability ones. Maybe an off session with an established, closed door student, but not someone new.

    I hate being "bro'd" or worse "brah'd" by people contacting me about becoming my student. That would have been my shut down word.

    What you're trying to do is difficult to get right and "right" depends on how you want it to be. I'm personally not super into being "Sifu!", but I also realize that in the conversation you are in, when it's me, I have to establish with them that I'm in charge, they're coming to me. In tradition martial arts, for a whole bunch or reasons, it is necessary to establish that and sustain it. That makes marketing more difficult, but it's still an important balance to find in your own way.

    At the point where he's calling you "bro" and pushing you, you have to reset or shut it down. I think you made the right decision in this case, for what it's worth.
     
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  16. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Yeah I don't like public training as you'll probably always get some idiot making some stupid comment.
     
  17. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    That's my feeling - I do it occasionally to try to draw students, but it's not where I'm most comfortable. Mind you, I've never had anyone get belligerent or loud, but I keep expecting it. I do know some folks who regularly train in public spaces, with no issues.
     
  18. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    I have never had that experience. I have had people either make fun of me by unleashing Bruce Lee-type screams, or people ask what I am doing and enlighten themselves.
     
  19. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    It probably wouldn't always happen but all it takes is one group of drunken idiots and it could escalate into a fight and that wouldn't be good for a business point either, it depends on the area of course
     
  20. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    It does depend upon the area. There are places I wouldn't bother to try it. There are other places where disruption is highly unlikely, perhaps to a fault. In the city park nearest me, people probably wouldn't even stop to ask questions.123
     

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